Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under bridge in cardboard box
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Originally Posted by iBarna
Hmm... I am sure it is a very tight market, but I find it insane that bike messenger companies don't pay insurance for their guys. It's such a physical job. This situation reminds me of construction workers around 1900. I would probably not want to own a company like that. I couldn't stomach the thought that there are people out there in the street working for me without me covering their asses.
I wonder if this will ever change. Bike messengers unionized? Probably never.
Just thinking out loud...
Its one of the most misunderstood and romanticized jobs thats for sure. What makes a regular w-4 type company a no go is workers compensation, the claim rate and incident rates mean HUGE premiums. Im all for it, now explain to customers why their rates just went from $6/run to $20/run !!!! The other thing is just plain motivation. You will rarely ever see a rec rider ride like a messenger on a mission to get somewhere, just like you wont see an hourly rider ride like a 1099. The amount of dedication and just sheer willpower it takes to be fast, consistent, and do it year round under every condition that can be thrown at you means unions dont work. The lowest common denominator doesnt work. The job very quickly weeds out the pretenders and wannabe's, even when times are good and easy, the pretenders or casual messengers find it tough to hang for long.
One of the weirdest things about this business is this:If I see one of my competitors broke down I will try to help, I will even cover his/her runs, call the police, fight someone for them, whatever, but I also will not even hesitate for one second to take a customer from them and food off their table. In a nutshell its the very essence of capitalism and survival of the fittest with a sort of tribe mentality added to it. We respect others that do what we do, because we and few others really understand what it is we actually do.